My sewing machine

My 1950s Singer 201k - raring to go
My 1950s Singer 201k – raring to go


I’d like you to meet my sewing machine. She’s a Singer 201k and I think she dates from the late 1950s.

I was given this machine by my Mum, who was given it by her mother. My Grannie was a keen dressmaker and this was a gift to her from my Grandpa and my great-grandmother in the late 1950s or early 1960s. I think they did a lot of saving up to buy this.

It was her pride and joy for fifteen years, when she upgraded to a newer machine with more stitches, but she always said what a good machine this was and how she missed its simplicity.

She was right. It may be a straight stitch only machine but it’s sturdy, hard-working and reliable. Everything’s mechanical, so if something goes wrong you can have a go at fixing it yourself. It can handle any fabric from chiffon to denim without complaining.

Over the last five years I’ve collected lots of attachments at flea fairs and through eBay and enthusiast sites: a buttonholer, a range of feet and even an automatic zigzagger (although I have yet to get that one working…). I love using it, but every now and then I do crave a machine that’s lighter, has a free arm, and does a zigzag stitch at the flick of a switch.

I’m tempted to get another machine at intervals, but I’m not sure I could part with this one.

I’m starting to feel as though she deserves a name. Perhaps Faith – which was also my Grannie’s name.



  1. […] I think I now know what fitting adjustments I need to make to get it to work. (Cut it out one size smaller on the top but then do a FBA, incorporate a sway-back adjustment, and interface the belt to stop it stretching. Oh, and use my overlocker – back then I did the whole thing on my straight stitch machine!) […]


  2. […] My old machine wasn’t quite cutting the mustard, and the final straw came when I realised there was no way I was ever going to be able to use a twin needle with it. Given that I have a list of about twenty things I want to make in knit fabrics, I thought it might be time to move into the modern age. […]


  3. […] using just the hand wheel, and avoided the automatic thread cutter. Next time I might get my vintage Singer 201K out for the topstiching, although she doesn’t have a zig zag stitch, so I won’t be able […]


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